A keyword search is generally not a one-shot exercise. As you search, pay attention to the results you receive and adjust your search strategy to build a better search to find additional relevant results. As you search, pay attention to any similar search terms in the results that speak to your topic and integrate these terms into a new search.
Each database has its own searching defaults, however the following general tips tend to carry from platform to platform:
Use an asterisk (*) to Truncate words in your search:
Example: Searching for econom* will find economY, economICS, economICAL, etc
Search example: You need to write a paper on entrepreneurs and product development.
Use AND to narrow a search and retrieve records containing all of the words it separates, e.g. adolescents AND children will only find records containing both these words.
Use OR to broaden a search and retrieve records containing any of the words it separates, e.g.adolescents OR children will find records containing adolescents only, children only, or both words.
Use NOT to narrow a search and retrieve records that do not contain the term following it, e.g. adolescents NOT children will find records that contain adolescents, but will not contain the word children.
The screen below shows how we could run a search in Business Source Complete.
Notice that you can sort your results by relevance, or date using the drop down menu on the right side of the search interface.